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New York City, 1962. Vera Kelly is struggling to make rent and blend into the underground gay scene in Greenwich Village. She's working night shifts at a radio station when her quick wits, sharp tongue, and technical skills get her noticed by a recruiter for the CIA.
Next thing she knows she's in Argentina, tasked with wiretapping a congressman and infiltrating a group of student activists in Buenos Aires. As Vera becomes more and more enmeshed with the young radicals, the fragile local government begins to split at the seams. When a betrayal leaves her stranded in the wake of a coup, Vera learns war makes for strange and unexpected bedfellows, and she's forced to take extreme measures to save herself.
An exhilarating page turner and perceptive coming-of-age story, Who is Vera Kelly? introduces an original, wry and whip-smart female spy for the twenty-first century.
'Forget about 007. This heroine has her own brand of spycraft...' - Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post
'Gripping, magnificently written . . . This is a cool, strolling boulevardier of a book, worldly, wry, unrushed but never slow, which casts its gaze upon the middle of the last century and forces us to consider how it might be failing us still' - Charles Finch, New York Times Book Review
'The personal is most definitely political in Rosalie Knecht's crisp, lively and subversive second novel, Who Is Vera Kelly? . . . John le Carré and many other writers make hay with the personal repercussions of assuming false identity. Knecht flips the terms artfully, showing us a heroine who discovers her true tough self by going undercover' - Jean Zimmerman, NPR, “Best Books of 2018”
'Knecht’s novel is a slow-burn espionage thriller, a complex treatment of queer identity, and an immersive period piece all rolled into one delectable page-turner . . . Vera Kelly introduces a fascinating new spy to literature’s mystery canon―one we hope sticks around long beyond this snappy, intimate debut' - David Canfield, Entertainment Weekly
'Who Is Vera Kelly? is the twisty, literary, woman-driven spy novel you’ve always wanted to read' - Amy Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of Girl Waits with Gun